Finkenauer Announces Federal Grant for Decorah Public Library Volunteering Program

March 2, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) announced that Decorah Public Library, sponsor of the Northeast Iowa Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) program, will receive $47,500 in Senior Corps funding as part of a $599,258 grant package from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service.

This award, which Decorah Public Library has been receiving for nearly two decades, will support at least 250 Senior Corps volunteers who are part of the agency’s “RSVP” program designed to allow Americans 55 years and older to commit their time to address critical community needs including academic tutoring and mentoring.

This is an amazing program where our friends and neighbors are helping each other and it's something we're extremely proud of," Congresswoman Finkenauer said. "For nearly 20 years, the program has brought generations of Iowans together to work and learn from each other. It is allowing older Iowans with valuable knowledge and experience to work with younger people and help shape our future and meet pressing community needs."

Director of the Northeast Iowa RSVP program, Deana Hageman, said, “Northeast Iowa Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is pleased to have received the Corporation for National and Community Service grant award in the annual amount of $47,500 for the next three years and will continue to partner with our 68 stations and over 400 volunteers in Allamakee, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties to meet community needs.”

The library now has 400 volunteers working in Howard, Winneshiek and Allamakee counties.


BACKGROUND ON SENIOR CORPS PROGRAM IN IOWA:

Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of Americans age 55 and over to meet a wide range of community challenges. Last year, more than 5,800 Iowa seniors met critical community needs while contributing to longer, healthier lives through one of three Senior Corps programs:

  • Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to young people with exceptional needs.
  • Senior Companions help homebound seniors and other adults maintain independence primarily in their own homes.
  • RSVP volunteers conduct safety patrols, renovate homes, protect the environment, tutor and mentor youth, respond to natural disasters, and provide other services.

Last year in Iowa, Foster Grandparents tutored and mentored 1,600 young people, Senior Companions helped 880 seniors live independently, and RSVP volunteers strengthened the impact of 430 organizations across the state.